Cylindrical Block Copolymer Micelles and Co-Micelles of Controlled Length and Architecture

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Science  03 Aug 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5838, pp. 644-647
DOI: 10.1126/science.1141382

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Block copolymers consist of two or more chemically different polymers connected by covalent linkages. In solution, repulsion between the blocks leads to a variety of morphologies, which are thermodynamically driven. Polyferrocenyldimethylsilane block copolymers show an unusual propensity to forming cylindrical micelles in solution. We found that the micelle structure grows epitaxially through the addition of more polymer, producing micelles with a narrow size dispersity, in a process analogous to the growth of living polymer. By adding a different block copolymer, we could form co-micelles. We were also able to selectively functionalize different parts of the micelle. Potential applications for these materials include their use in lithographic etch resists, in redox-active templates, and as catalytically active metal nanoparticle precursors.

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